I heard a great quote recently. The speaker said,

The message of Christ is not Christianity. The message of Christ, is Christ. In other words, Jesus did not come to make us more religious,
he came so we might embrace Him.

On this Easter Monday, I call you to embrace Jesus. I am not calling myself or you to be a better person or a better Christian in the eyes of the world, I call you to proclaim Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. As we proclaim Christ risen, I believe we have no choice but to embrace HOPE!

This virus pandemic has been worse than any of us thought could have happened. The USA is the greatest and the strongest country in the history of the world. And yet, this unseen enemy has caused incredible harm to our people and our economy. But, it will not win. The human spirit, the American spirit, and the grace of Jesus Christ will bring life out of this death. The timing of this resurrection is yet to be seen. But it will happen, and all of us who are holding onto Christ, can live in this hope until then.

As your pastor, I am so proud of you and of our community. We have stood strong and have made Jesus present to each other. I know many of us have felt lost and confused at times, but we have never let go of the risen Lord.

St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, Never let anything so fill you with sorrow that you forget the joy of Christ risen. The good Mother knew that no amount of pain, grief, or sadness is stronger than the power of Christ. Sometimes, when we are in the midst of it all, we forget the power of Jesus. But Easter reminds us that He wins, even over death.

So hey, Covid—19, you will not win! You can do damage and hurt, but you will not win. Christ wins. And we believers aren’t just a bunch of do-gooders and church goers, we cling to Christ. We accept His message of love, service, and life. And we stand in the midst of this crisis and proclaim “Christ is Risen!” We commit ourselves to turning this CRISIS into CHRIST risen.